First Time Auction Buys, What I learned as a Newbie!!!
Marty "on summer break" Malone
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First let me say I am thoroughly pleased with the auction purchases that I have recently won. I bid on 12 different games and won 5 of those auctions. I did however learn a few things along the way that will make the experience more enjoyable and manageable in the future. And hopefully help someone else that is thinking about trying the auctions.

I had about $60 set aside to buy a game or two and had been playing with the idea of trying the auctions that are so prevalent on the geek lists. I decided to browse the various lists to see if there were games I was interested in and if the opening bid or reserve was a good deal or not. Surprise there was a ton of games I was interested in and a large majority of them were at great opening bid and reserve prices. I was leery of buying a used game based on bad experiences on ebay and amazon but realized of all the places were games are treated with the utmost respect, this is the forum and wanted to give it a shot. (I know how my gaming friends and I treat our games and would never hesitate to purchase a used one of those.)

Ok so now what?

It was a Thursday night, football was playing in the background, I had already posted my TBT pics on Facebook and the kids were tucked neatly away. I browsed, I bid, I browsed and I bid. I will list the games that I won and within the list talk about the things that I learned.
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1. Board Game: Memoir '44 [Average Rating:7.54 Overall Rank:118] [Average Rating:7.54 Unranked]
Marty "on summer break" Malone
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So Monday morning comes along and I have received a geek mail. Congratulations, you won the auction for Memoir 44. Here is a link to the geek market place, yada yada. I had just assumed I had lost all of my bids and couldn't really even tell you how many I had bid on. Got lost in the adrenaline rush of bidding and dreaming of increasing my collection at bargain prices.

Lesson 1: Subscribe to each and every geek list item that you bid on. Great goggly moogly, after I received this I had to go search through my contributions to look at every one of my most recent geek list item comments to find the games I had bid on and the amounts. I even created a quick bar link to Manage subscriptions by geek list items.



This became crucial as other deadlines approached for the auctions closing dates.

Re: Memoir 44, So glad I purchased this one. I have yet to venture into the true war game arena and have only dabbled in it with Twilight Struggle but really wanted a light war game to play with my 10 year old son. He is a history buff and loves the world wars and the civil war and this plays perfectly for he and I. I know it is not as heavy or even considered a true war game by some but for what I wanted, it is perfect.

Won for 30 Amazon new 50 (bear with me as I discuss what some of you are already saying but what about....)
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2. Board Game: DaVinci's Challenge [Average Rating:5.57 Overall Rank:12032] [Average Rating:5.57 Unranked]
Marty "on summer break" Malone
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Same day, later in the afternoon I receive another congratulations. I didn't even remember bidding on this, see Lesson 1. Between memoir 44 and this game I quickly rushed to find each and every game I had bid on. I knew I bid on a lot but never in a million years expected to win them all, I honestly thought that if I won 1 or 2 I was good. That $60 dollars I had to buy a game or two was slowly being depleted.

Lesson 2: Shipping is sneaky. Make sure that when you are bidding on games in an auction that you look to see where they are shipping from, score if they are local but I however did not score. Be diligent in reading the auctioneers rules for shipping, insurance may be required which dramatically increases the shipping cost. A $2 game can become a $20 game in a heartbeat. I calculated $12 on average after going to the USPS website to calculate flat rate boxes and the other various options. FedEX included. I just then included this in my thinking for the rest of my auction bids. The reason I use Amazon new is because I have Prime with free shipping so for 1 game, Amazon has the cheapest price in a lot of instances. I looked at www.boardgameprices.com and can find the games cheaper but shipping is an issue unless you buy 100 or 150 and I had $60.

RE: Davinci's Challenge. I am a fan of the random abstract game. My oldest son and I play lots of these and my wife and I do as well. Blokus, Abolone, Dvonn, Quaridor, Quarto all get considerable play time and this was a Mensa Select winner several years ago and I was intrigued. I opened the bidding at $2.00.

Won 2.00 Amazon new 22.50 (Shipping on Memoir 44 was 12, Davinci's Challenge was 8.00)
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3. Board Game: DC Comics Deck-Building Game [Average Rating:7.01 Overall Rank:700] [Average Rating:7.01 Unranked]
Marty "on summer break" Malone
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DC Deck Builder and Jamaica make up my next lesson. These were both won on the same auction and therefore are bundled together for shipping purposes.

Lesson 3: Multiple games in one auction greatly reduces your price per game shipping by bundling. I do have a Master's in Math and again defer to the adrenaline rush and late night Auction browsing for not putting more credence into bidding on multiple items in each auction. I was blindly focused (nice oxymoron huh?) on the games I was interested in only. Did not give a thought to multiple items to reduce shipping expense. I had even bid on a game on another auction that was on this particular auction because the bids were cheaper on the other auction. In the future I will look at all of the auctions and jot down the games on each list that interest me and look for multiple versions to see if there are bundling opportunities.

RE: DC Deckbuilder I like this as a quick deck builder for a different flavor than Dominion which remains a favorite. Had played several times before and thought why not. My kids love both DC and Marvel so I figured it would be a hit.

Won 11 Amazon new 32.00 (bundled shipping $6.00 per item)
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4. Board Game: Jamaica [Average Rating:7.09 Overall Rank:404]
Marty "on summer break" Malone
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This game is included in lesson 3 with DC Deckbuilder.

RE: Have not played but have read enough to know that it is a game that will play well in my household. Looking forward to breaking it out.

Won 24.00 Amazon new 45.00 (Bundled shipping $6.00)
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5. Board Game: Agricola [Average Rating:8.02 Overall Rank:17]
Marty "on summer break" Malone
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This game has two lessons that I will share.

Lesson 4: Know the deadline for bidding and no sniping. I thought I had lost this one. I placed a bid earlier in the evening on the closing date, after managing lesson 1 (keeping up with the items and their closing dates and lesson 2 pay attention to shipping costs) I checked back later and had been outbid several times. OK. My $60 was already gone and I was tapping into next months gaming budget so no biggie. Congratulations, the auction cut off at xyz and ours was the last bid before that so here you go...

Lesson 5: Shipping insurance. It is for the shipper and buyers protection, I get it. But dang... If an auction says insurance be aware that you are looking at an extra $8.00 or so on top of the shipping costs. 12 become 20 quickly, should have bundled (Lesson 3).


RE: Agricola This seems to be the poster child for games that get beat up on the geek but having never played the actual board game version, only the iOS version, I can't wait to break it out. No game has left me more mentally drained than this and I have never played an actual person. I can't wait to find someone that isn't burned out on this game from years of play when it was the cult of new and wants to relive the agony. Said with the utmost respect. I love the iOS version and have logged nearly 60 plays like this.

Won 23.00 Amazon new 43.50 (shipping + ins 18.00)
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6. Board Game: Auction [Average Rating:5.15 Unranked]
Marty "on summer break" Malone
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I have learned the auction process much like I learn a new game. The first time I play, I make several mistakes but ultimately learn from them. I probably didn't get as good of deals as I could have but calculated I saved about 33% on these 5 games and didn't go broke in the process. I am happy with my purchases and know that once I get some money together to spend on games again I will be greatly prepared to minimize my overall costs and have a much more enjoyable and prepared experience. I hope this finds a you with a touch of humor and maybe reflects on mistakes others have made in the learning process. I hope if you are considering trying an auction, do so. The people I've bought from have all been wonderful to work with, never a moment of concern and the games are all in great quality as advertised.

If you have other lesson to add, please do so and thanks for spending your time on this list if you happened to make it this far.

M
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